Mikey (foster #4) had a hard time for awhile there. When his owner died, he went to the shelter and fell into a deep depression. Homeward Trails rescued him and soon after he contracted pneumonia and nearly died. But HT's director and founder Sue Bell nursed him back to health, after which I took him in. We think he was about 9 or 10 when I got him.
At first, he was really sad and just wanted to lie on his Mikeybed (every dog who comes to my house has a bed whose name is preceded by his own. Same with 'food,' 'house,' etc.) But I soon found that a belly rub was much appreciated, and we spent the evenings as belly rubber and belly rubbee, with my girl Bella happily chomping bones beside us. As he grew more accustomed to us, he opened up, and became a very expressive, happy boy. Slow, short walks became longer, more frequent ones as he regained his strength. Eventually, as soon as we left the house, he would pull toward the woods, eager to run along the trails with Bella.
He was very vocal on the trails, woofing his excitement. Sometimes he'd run ahead and then return, barking at me insistently. "Really?" I'd say, "You saw trees? Rocks? What else?!"
Here he is in full happy barky mode:I fell hard in love with Mikey and I started thinking about keeping him. I just wasn't sure I was ready to give up fostering. While I was considering, I took Mikey to his first adoption event and a woman walking by fell in love at first sight.
Letting him go broke my heart, but knowing how much his family loves him helps, as does the fact that they let me take him out for adventures. And his family in turn fell in love with Bella and have kindly watched her when I travel; I happily do the same for them.
In fact, Mikey's family is away this weekend, so guess who is sleeping on my living room floor, post-barky woods romp, right this minute?!